France and Poland lead the way to semifinals


It was a big celebration at Atlas Arena following the 3-2 victory of Poland over Russia on Thursday

Lodz and Katowice, Poland, September 18, 2014 – Teams of France and Poland clinched the top places of Pool G and H, respectively, as semifinalists at the FIVB Men’s World Championship following their five-set victories on Thursday night.

The French side totaled five points from a 2-0 win-loss record after subduing Iran 3-2 (25-20, 25-23, 22-25, 19-25, 15-9) at Spodek Arena in Katowice. They now will play three-time defending champions and world No 1 Brazil in one of the semifinals on Saturday.

It will be only the second visit of France to the semifinals in their previous appearances in the world championships. In 2002, they lost to Russia and eventually settled for the bronze medal.

On the other hand, Poland edged Olympic champions and world No 2 Russia in five sets 3-2 (25-22, 25-22, 21-25, 22-25, 15-11) in front of a full house at Atlas Arena in Lodz.

The home crowd favourites finished with four points, the same total of Brazil but with a 2-0 mark, and will meet Germany in the other semifinal encounter.

While the semifinal matches will take place in Katowice, Russia and Iran are set to play for the fifth position in a contest to be played in Lodz on Saturday.

The final positions at the third round of the competition were as follows:

Pool G: France (5, 2-0), Germany (3, 1-1) and Iran (1, 0-2). Pool H: Poland (4, 2-0), Brazil (4, 1-1) and Russia (1, 0-2).

Results - September 18, 2014

Match    Teams        Match results    Match player rating
097    FRA-IRI        3-2        View
098    POL-RUS        3-2        View

France 3, Iran 2

After winning the first two sets to secure their spot in the Final Four, French coach Tillie Laurent utilized his second unit the rest of the way as also did Slobodan Kovac for Iran.

Key points

• It was the ninth victory of France in this world championship
• France extended to ten their winning streak against Asian teams
• Iran have won a total of 49 sets at the world championships

Mory Sidibe topped France with 17 points, followed by Nicolas Marechal and Nicolas LeGoff with 11 apiece and Samuele Tuia with 10 tallies. Iran’s Shahram Mahmoudi had a match-high 22 points in the losing effort while Milad Ebadipour and Pourya Fayazi added 14 and 11, respectively.

Poland 3, Russia 2

Home crowd favourites Poland won the first two sets of the match to secure the ticket to the semifinals and leaving Russia without chances to play for the medals.

Key points

•The two teams met in the semifinals of the 2006 edition when Poland won 3-2
• This was Poland’s fourth five-setter in a row
• Poland are the first team in the history to win four consecutive five-setters

Once again Mariusz Wlazly topped Poland’s scoring list with 28 points, followed by Michal Kubiak with 13 points. Piotr Nowakowski and Mateusz Mika chipped in with 10 points apiece. Kubiak scored 12 times from 12 swings while Wlazly landed 26 of 40 attempts.

Dmitriy Ilinykh and Dmitriy Muserskiy lead the way for the Russian squad with 22 and 16 points, respectively, while Nikolay Pavlov and Alexey Spiridonov added 15 and 13 in the loss.


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